The Saar Pledge

The Jews of the world owe a vote of thanks to the League of Nations and to the French government for insisting that Germany agree to guarantee equality for the Jews in the Saar Basin if the coming plebiscite turns this district over to Germany.

But the Jews of the world need not be too optimistic about the guarantee which the representative of the German government signed yesterday in Rome. Firstly—this guarantee is valid for one year only. Secondly—the value of such international guarantees given by Germany is unfortunately well known to be questionable.

In a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Mr. Lopez Olivan, the member of League’s Saar Committee who made public the news of the French-German agreement on the Saar, declared that no excessive pessimism should be felt with regard to the fate of Saar Jewry. This statement, pacifying as it is, is however not sufficiently substantiated.

We know how Germany carries out equality of rights for the Jews in Upper Silesia. We know what the Jewish population is now undergoing in Danzig, which is not yet a German territory but where the Nazis are the rulers. We therefore do not feel that the position of the Jews in the Saar will be any better than in these two places despite the agreement signed yesterday.

The League of Nations and the French government have certainly displayed their good will in insisting that Germany guarantee full rights to the Jews in the Saar. The fact, however, that this guarantee is limited to one year only warrants the belief that either the representatives of the League were not sufficiently insistent, or that Germany strongly opposed the paragraph providing equality for the Jews.

Should the latter be the case and should the German opposition have been so strong that the representatives of the League could not win more than one year’s equality for the Jews in the Saar, it is hardly necessary to emphasize that Jews will be compelled to leave the Saar long before the year is over. The fear that they will be deprived of their rights at the end of the year will always be before their eyes.

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